Sydney has no shortage of vintage stores, Surry Hills, Newtown and Paddington are all great vintage shopping hotspots. And because I’m a big fan of spending an afternoon sorting through racks of vintage clothing and finding the perfect pieces, I wanted to share my advice on vintage shops in Sydney, how to start and where to go.
VINTAGE SHOPS IN SYDNEY – MY TOP PICKS
SURRY HILLS VINTAGE STORES
Zoo Emporium: It’s one of Sydney’s longest running vintage stores with a huge array of vintage clothing for men and women.
Storeroom Vintage: A well laid out store with great 80’s and 90’s streetwear. There’s two stores, one in Newtown and one in Surry Hills.
C’s Flashback: A bit of a mix of thrifting and vintage, very easy to navigate and sells 80’s and 90’s street wear, as well as early 2000’s second hand clothing.
Dolly Up Vintage: Amazing dresses, curated french vintage and some rare designer finds too.
SYDNEY CBD VINTAGE STORES
Blueworks Vintage Clothing: Super cool rugged, outdoorsman style vintage finds. Great customer service and a dark horse in Sydney’s CBD.
The Vintage Clothing Shop: Tucked away in St James Arcade, there’s things in here from the 1880’s all the way to the 1980’s. Well curated, fun to browse.
DARLINGHURST, ELIZABETH BAY & POTTS POINT VINTAGE STORES
Fabrique Vintage: Jeans, sneakers, cool hats and so many jackets. This place has lots of late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s gear. Really nice staff and a great layout.
Potts Point Vintage: My favourite stop for mens jackets, the store is lovely, the selection is well curated. Each time I’ve visited, I’ve found great 70’s pieces.
AXL Bazaar: Chic women’s vintage clothing that’s been updated with a modern style in mind. A beautiful store with great finds and perfect for those who love sustainable, unique fashion.
NEWTOWN VINTAGE SHOPS + MARRICKVILLE
Route66: A total dream for those who love cowboy, country, western style. There’s a huge selection of mens and womens wear, boots, hats, accessories and their denim range is fantastic.
Bell Street: This is a vintage dress hire service, but they also make custom dresses. A must see if you want a vintage frock just for a night.
Bowerbird Vintage: Beautiful, bright and lots of print in this store. They stock men’s and women’s vintage clothing from the 60’s to the 90’s.
HOW TO SHOP VINTAGE SHOPS IN SYDNEY
Know what you need: Go in thinking about the type of item you’re after, whether it’s jeans, skirts, jackets or a frock, if you know roughly what you’re after you can head straight to a rack organised with just those types of items.
Ask For It: Vintage store assistants are gold, they’re often the ones who take part in picking what goes in the store, so they know what’s there. If you have a reference image or mood board that shows your style, this will help you find the right pieces faster.
Know The Era: The internet is a great tool for helping you work out what time the types of vintage pieces you’re drawn to are from. You might even want to look at trend reports to find out what historical eras are influencing our fashion stores. Some vintage stores are arrange by era, so knowing when the types of clothing you love was made helps to cut through the racks!
Take A Tape Measure: Sizing has changed over the decades, the Levi’s that were a size 30, thirty years ago, might not actually fit a modern thirty (or Australian twelve, if you’re trying to work that out). If you know your measurements or take a tape measure with you, it will make the fitting room much easier.
Feel The Fabrics: Make sure you like the feel of the fabrics, it’s true a lot of vintage is made from higher quality, more refined materials, but you want to make sure you like the feel of those fabrics on your skin and that you can care for them.
Check For Damage: Most stores have an exchange or no refund policy, so it’s smart to check your garment for damage, like pit stains, broken zips, moth holes, etc, before you buy it. Turn the garment inside out, check the seams and make sure your garment is in good condition.
Consider Tailoring Costs: If you’re buying something you know you’re going to update, tailor or mend, just make sure it’s worth the price and can be done. It’s a good idea to speak to the shop assistant about tailors, often they can recommend a great one and may even be able to advise on what’s a do-able adjustment and what may be expensive.
Check Your Wardrobe: It’s always worth it to think about what you own that goes with the garment you’re considering so you can actually wear it. Bring some things with you to your favourite vintage store to try on with your items before you buy.
What are your favourite vintage clothing stores around Sydney? Let me know in the comments!